I believe many of Ray's stories are among the scariest I have ever read. In such tales, he leaves much to the imagination of the reader, which I so greatly appreciate.
I responded to this thread way back in 2008, mentioning "the October Game", but at present I think Ray's scariest story is "The Whole Town's Sleeping". I still remember the first time I read it. It is the only time, while reading, that the hair on the back of my neck and my arms literally stood up.
As for "The October Game", it remains my favorite Ray Bradbury story. However, I believe the reason it did not appear in any of his collections for so many years after its original publication is that Ray came to dislike the story. As I mentioned in another post, when I had Ray sign, a number of years ago, a copy of the issue of WEIRD TALES in which "The October Game" first appeared, I told him how much I loved the story. He responded that he hated it. When I asked why, he said that he had written the story as a young man, before he had gotten married and had daughters, and that he could never have written such a story later in his life. I strongly believe that is why it took such a long time for the story to be included in one of his collections.
Richard, I forgot "The Whole Town's Sleeping", and I certainly agree about that one!
Interesting to hear about Ray's attitude to "The October Game". I suspect that a lot of readers, including parents, would have recoiled at that story. And yet, Ray included it in The Stories of Ray Bradbury (1980), when he had plenty of other works to choose from, so he must have known it was a very notable piece, at the very least.
Posts: 638 | Location: Cape Town, South Africa | Registered: 29 December 2001
Odd how tastes and responses vary so widely. Things that affected others so strongly I just shrugged off, and vice versa. A defect in reading comprehension,or a refusal to engage? I'd have to go and re-read the stories to tell. But if i still have them, they're buried in a stack of dusty boxes out in the garage: the reading of a lifetime, and unearthing their dry, crispy dead leaves is a task I can't justify, considering the time- concerns of today which pursue me like the Hound. Thanks for responding --- PS, 'I Am Legend' scared the hell out of me, and must I mention again 'The Monkey's Paw'?